China has recently launched a water-saving campaign designed to keep daily water consumption of the country's urban residents under 230 liters per person by 2005 and 240 liters by 2010.
The central government will popularize the use of water-saving facilities to avoid pipeline leakage and other waste.
China, the world's most populous nation, is facing acute water shortages as a result of population rise and economic development in past decades.
Droughts, dwindling underground water resources, water pollution and inappropriate water facilities are the major reasons for the problem, officials with the Ministry of Water Resources said.
Over 400 out of its 660 major cities have suffered from insufficient water resources, with 110 experiencing severe problems. The per capita water resource in the country is only 2,200 cubic meters, or one-fourth of the world's average.
But per capita water consumption of Chinese urban residents per day reached 219 liters by the end of 2002.
Water-saving facilities are expected to be equipped in all civilian buildings and public places in China's urban areas by 2010.
China hopes to keep its annual water consumption at around 620 billion cubic meters by 2005 and 670 billion cubic meters by 2010.
(Xinhua News Agency October 27, 2003)